Nepal | May 21, 2019

Dalits of Bajura village cannot vote freely

Himalayan News Service

A Dalit woman of Swamikartik Rural Municipality talking to media, in Jukot, on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Photo: THT

Bajura, June 21

Nande Luwar, 70, of Jukot in Swamikartik Rural Municipality, Bajura has voted many times in his life. But, due to some reasons Nande could not cast his vote freely. “I will vote where the upper caste people ask me to vote,” he added.

This is a common trend among Dalit families of Jukot, Bajura.

Jukot has a majority of Thakuri population. As many as 450 Thakuri and 213 Dalit families are living in the area. Most Dalit families are haliyas and depend on Thakuris for their livelihood. Dalit leader Mani BK said that they would cast the ballot as per the Thakuri’s direction.

“Some Dalits had voted openly in the past election,” he said. BK further added that Thakuris had voted  in the name of uneducated, elderly citizens and the disabled.

Jasu Kadara, a local, said that he had yet to cast his vote freely during his life. “All the people in my locality cast their vote for the CPN-UML as almost all Thakuri families are UML supporters,” he added. He said some other person had cast the vote in his name though he had participated in election three times. “We are not concerned about elections because we cannot vote on our own,” he informed. Former election officer Dipak Shah said the Dalit people in Jukot were deprived of voting rights. “The Dalit families are compelled to do what the Thakuri families instruct,” he added.

 


A version of this article appears in print on June 22, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.


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